Yesterday I was arraigned on three counts of felony wiretapping – click here to read about Pete’s and my year long fight on MA wiretapping charges. If convicted I face anywhere from 11.5 to 21 years in prison and up to $12,000 in fines. I say IF because the only way I’ll be convicted is if the state (the system itself) protects it’s own. The three people claiming that I wire tapped them are public officials, whom I recorded while acting in their “public” capacities, but we’ll get more into that as we approach trial.
An arraignment is pretty basic, it’s a hearing where the state decides your bail – a place holder essentially – which is to secure your appearance at future hearings/trial. If you can think of any reason you need to be outside of jail, this is where you explain that to the judge. If you’re representing yourself, the goal here is to make the judge understand that you WILL be present at the scheduled dates/times. As seen in the video above, I stated to the judge that a) I feel the charges are frivolous b) I’ve never missed a court date in the past – and I’ve had plenty c) I’m a full time activists/blogger and have ever intention of highlighting the silliness of the state’s aggression toward me. The judge seemed to agree because not only did he lower my PR bond from $10,000 to $1,000 but he also removed the clause banning me from possessing firearms. Though the DA made it clear that federal law still permitted it and I told them both that I’m a convicted felon. So the squabble was for nothing.
The only other thing I’d like to note about in the video is how the DA – Michael Valentine – stated that I wasn’t a harm to the community. Yet is going to spend alot of tax dollars attempting to cage me and a lot more if he actually succeeds.
I encourage anyone being charged with a victimless crime to visit NeverTakeAPlea.org – that’s where I’ll be posting my court hearings and where you can network with others facing similar charges. More to come from the magical land of Manchester Superior Court. Meta Post with current information and backstory – HERE.